Karesha A. McGee

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Karesha A. McGee
Global Marketing & Corporate Communications
Cisco Systems
San Jose, Calif.
Age: 38

Karesha Allana McGee has more than 13 visas, 55 stamps and several extra pages in her passport, having heeded her mother’s advice to explore the world. “Each stamp in my passport is a lesson — a reminder of the many cultural nuances that must be considered when conducting business globally,” says McGee, who has held key marketing and communications roles during her seven-year tenure at Cisco Systems. She taps into her cross-cultural expertise to help drive communications initiatives across many countries, including India, Brazil and Israel. “The success of our global programs comes down to people. I connect with the individuals, first in order to achieve our business goals.”

McGee has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Cornell University and spent her junior year at the University of Seville, in Spain. She recently completed an executive MBA course through the joint University of California at Berkeley Haas School of Business and Columbia University program.

McGee began her career at a boutique public relations firm in San Francisco, where she honed the craft of storytelling, bringing technology to life for customers, partners and key industry influencers. “I am the bridge between the engineers who are immersed in code and potential customers. I wrap the technology in a compelling business story,” she explains. An avid music fan and adventurer, she spent a year in Barcelona singing jazz at local clubs. She had fallen in love with the city while studying in Spain.  Mindful of the unique cultural experiences she experienced while traveling, McGee sees herself as a “keeper of culture” and entertains the idea of one day becoming a goodwill ambassador like her maternal grandfather, Gilbert Cruter, who served in several West African countries with his young family in tow. “He was, and continues to be, a huge inspiration to me,” McGee says.

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